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Hasebe eager to impress new boss

Kyodo

Japan national team captain Makoto Hasebe returned to Germany after a yearend break on Wednesday hoping to impress new Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking.

Hecking left Hiroshi Kiyotake’s Nuremberg and late last month replaced Lorenz-Gunther Kostner, who had been in caretaker charge of Wolfsburg since Felix Magath’s resignation at the end of October.

Hasebe had been frozen out by Magath but started getting games under his belt again when Kostner temporarily took charge.

“I have heard a little bit (about Hecking) from Kiyo (Kiyotake),” Hasebe told reporters at Narita airport. “I want to impress him right from practice and beat stiff opposition to win my place in the team.”

Looking ahead to 2013 with Japan, he added, “We can qualify for the World Cup and also have the Confederations Cup in June. This is a big year for the national team.”